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Meeting of the Parliament

Wednesday 11 June 2008

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1. Time for Reflection: Juliet Wilson, The Humanist Society of Scotland, led Time for Reflection.

2. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill) made a statement and answered questions on an Alternative Business Structure for the Legal Profession

3. Small Business Bonus Scheme: The Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism (Jim Mather) moved S3M-2102—That the Parliament welcomes the introduction, on 1 April 2008, of the Small Business Bonus Scheme; notes that businesses have reacted positively to the scheme, and believes that businesses themselves are best placed to decide how to use the reductions in business rates resulting from the scheme to invest in their own success and to deliver new opportunities, new employment and new ventures throughout Scotland.

Elaine Murray moved amendment S3M-2102.1 to motion S3M-2102—

leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the introduction of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) on 1 April 2008; recognises that business rates relief schemes play a part in government support for small business; notes also the schemes initiated by previous administrations but believes that the allocation of a further £315 million, over the period of this spending review, to the implementation of the SBBS does not by itself represent the most effective way of stimulating local economic development or national economic growth, and further believes that government funding targeted on energy efficiency, training and town centre regeneration would benefit both small businesses and their local communities.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 78, Abstentions 0).

Derek Brownlee moved amendment S3M-2102.2 to motion S3M-2102—

insert at end—

“; welcomes the acceleration of the business rate reductions announced during the Parliamentary budget process, and calls on the Scottish Government, local authorities and business organisations to work together to ensure that eligible businesses are aware of and benefit from the reductions.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 78, Against 0, Abstentions 39).

Liam McArthur moved amendment S3M-2102.3 to motion S3M-2102—

insert at end—

“and calls on the Scottish Government to commission an independent assessment in 2010 of the impact and effectiveness of the current and previous administrations’ business rate reduction measures.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 55, Against 16, Abstentions 46).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 79, Against 0, Abstentions 38).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the introduction, on 1 April 2008, of the Small Business Bonus Scheme; notes that businesses have reacted positively to the scheme; believes that businesses themselves are best placed to decide how to use the reductions in business rates resulting from the scheme to invest in their own success and to deliver new opportunities, new employment and new ventures throughout Scotland; welcomes the acceleration of the business rate reductions announced during the Parliamentary budget process; calls on the Scottish Government, local authorities and business organisations to work together to ensure that eligible businesses are aware of and benefit from the reductions, and calls on the Scottish Government to commission an independent assessment in 2010 of the impact and effectiveness of the current and previous administrations’ business rate reduction measures.

4. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2110—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 18 June 2008

2.00 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by First Minister’s Statement: Ministerial Code

followed by Stage 1 Debate: Creative Scotland Bill

followed by Financial Resolution: Creative Scotland Bill

followed by Legislative Consent Motion: Energy Bill – UK Legislation

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Thursday 19 June 2008

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Ministerial Statement: Financial Outturn 2007-08

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Youth Justice

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister's Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Europe, External Affairs and Culture;
Education and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm Ministerial Statement: Ministerial Task Force on Health Inequalities Report

followed by Stage 1 Debate: Scottish Register of Tartans Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Wednesday 25 June 2008

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Business

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Thursday 26 June 2008

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Rural Affairs and Environment Committee Debate: 2nd Report 2008, Flooding and Flood Management

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister's Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Health and Wellbeing

2.55 pm Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme Committee Debate: 1st Report 2008, Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

The motion was agreed to.

5. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2111—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Offences (Aggravated by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 3 April 2009.

The motion was agreed to.

6. Designation of Lead Committee: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2112—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice Committee be designated as the lead committee, and that the Equal Opportunities Committee be designated as secondary committee, in consideration of the Offences (Aggravated by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7. Designation of Lead Committee: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2113—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government and Communities Committee be designated as the lead committee in consideration of the Disabled Persons’ Parking Places (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Approval of SSI: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2114—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2008 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 3, 6, 7 and 8 as noted above.

10. Tackling Excess Packaging: The Parliament debated S3M-1787 in the name of Jim Hume—That the Parliament welcomes the innovation and success of the state-of-the-art Eco Deco waste treatment plant near Dumfries which is the first facility of its kind in Scotland; notes that by using advanced technology the plant can process up to 65,000 tonnes of waste a year, recovering resources from waste and eliminating the need for several kerbside boxes and bags as well as wheeled bins; regrets that the UK’s levels of waste production are increasing exponentially, with approximately one million tonnes of packaging waste produced in Scotland each year; notes that, although packaging regulations are largely reserved to Westminster, waste management including waste minimisation and recycling are devolved to Scotland, and therefore believes that tackling excess packaging should be a central objective of the forthcoming supermarket summit and that decisive action should be taken to reduce excess packaging through all available levers, including working with product designers and manufacturers in Scotland to encourage sustainable design and sustainable products, developing improved packaging guidelines for adoption by retailers and their suppliers, introducing further Producer Responsibility initiatives and installing ambitious recovery obligations in the producer responsibility regulations for packaging, and developing improved systems for consumers to complain to retailers and Trading Standards officers about excess packaging, and that waste points should be provided in supermarkets where customers can deposit unwanted packaging.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
11 June 2008

Appendix
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

New Bills introduced or reprinted on 10 June 2008

Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Bill—The Bill was reprinted as amended at Stage 2. (SP Bill 6A) (Executive Bill)

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 6 June 2008 and are subject to annulment—

The Academic Awards and Distinctions (UHI Millennium Institute) (Scotland) Order of Council 2008 (SSI 2008/212)

laid under sections 45 and 60 of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992

The Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 (Conservation Bodies) Amendment Order 2008 (SSI 2008/217)

laid under section 127 of the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003

The Official Feed and Food Controls (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/218)

laid under paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 2 to the European Communities Act 1972

The Academic Awards and Distinctions (Additional Powers of the University of Aberdeen) Order of Council (SSI 2008/220)

laid under sections 45 and 60 of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992

The National Health Service Pension Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/224)

laid under section 12 of the Superannuation Act 1972

The Local Government Pension Scheme (Administration) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/228)

laid under section 12(6) of the Superannuation Act 1972

The Local Government Pension Scheme (Transitional Provisions) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/229)

laid under section 12(6) of the Superannuation Act 1972

The Local Government Pension Scheme (Benefits, Membership and Contributions) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/230)

laid under section 12(6) of the Superannuation Act 1972

The Offenders Assisting Investigations and Prosecutions (Substituted Sentences) (Scotland) Order 2008 (SSI 2008/232)

laid under section 103(3) of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006

The Rural Development Contracts (Rural Priorities) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/233)

laid under paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 to the European Communities Act 1972

The Graduate Endowment (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/235)

laid under section 133(2) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980

The Court of Session etc. Fees Amendment Order 2008 (SSI 2008/236)

laid under section 2(4) of the Courts of Law Fees (Scotland) Act 1895

The High Court of Justiciary Fees Amendment Order 2008 (SSI 2008/237)

laid under section 2(4) of the Courts of Law Fees (Scotland) Act 1895

The Adults with Incapacity (Public Guardian’s Fees) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/238)

laid under section 86(1) of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000

The Sheriff Court Fees Amendment Order 2008 (SSI 2008/239)

laid under section 2(4) of the Courts of Law Fees (Scotland) Act 1895

The Criminal Legal Assistance (Fees and Information etc.) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/240)

laid under section 37(1) of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 6 June 2008 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Natural Scotland Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) activity within Scotland from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2007 (SG/2008/93)

laid under section 20 of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 6 June 2008—

Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, 4th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Complaint against Andy Kerr MSP (SP Paper 111)

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, 2nd Report, 2008 (Session 3): Stage 1 Report on the Scottish Register of Tartans Bill (SP Paper 115)

The following reports were published on 9 June 2008—

Audit Committee, 3rd Report, 2008 (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 106)

Health and Sport Committee, 4th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 107)

Finance Committee, 3rd Report, 2008 (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 109)

Equal Opportunities Committee, 1st Report 2008 (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 112)

Public Petitions Committee, 1st Report, (2008) (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 113)

Public Petitions Committee, 2nd Report, (2008) (Session 3): Equalities Report for the period 2 April 2007 - 8 May 2008 (SP Paper 114)

Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, 5th Report 2008 (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 116)

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, 3rd Report 2008 (Session 3): Energy Bill Legislative Consent Memorandum (S3) 12.1 (SP Paper 117)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 25th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 118)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 26th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Public Health etc. (Scotland) Bill as amended at Stage 2 (SP Paper 119)

The following reports were published on 10 June 2008—

Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, 2nd Report (2008) (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 121)

Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee, 4th Report (2008) (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 122)

European and External Relations Committee, 2nd Report, 2008 (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 123)

The following reports were published on 11 June 2008—

Local Government and Communities Committee, 8th Report (Session 3): Report on Elections 2007 (SP Paper 120)

Local Government and Communities Committee, 9th Report (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 124)

Justice Committee, 13th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 125)

Justice Committee, 14th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Annual Report 2007-08 (SP Paper 126)